Photo of Reinhard Tartler

Reinhard Tartler

Interviewed: August 2006


IRC Nickname: siretart
Location: Nueremberg/Germany
Age: 26
Profession: Computer Science Student

Ubuntu Stuff

In what way are you involved in Ubuntu?

I'm currently member of the ubuntu-core-dev team in launchpad, however I'm more involved with the packages in universe.

How much time do you spend working on Ubuntu?

It differs. 1-3h a day during edgy cycle, way more during the dapper cycle.

Are you being paid to work on Ubuntu?


You are a member of several launchpad teams, amongst others the ubuntu core development team. What roles do you play in them and how do they differ from each other?

In the core-dev-team, I'm mainly helping out with merges. I'm currently focusing on the xine packages to get it back to shape. In ubuntu-dev, I started Mentoring (I already got someone to mentor ;), and help with merges as well.

How has the REVU project (a review tool to help create packages for the Universe Repository), which you started last year, helped to involve the community in packaging applications?

I think of REVU as a presentation platform, so that reviewers can look at the source package more easily that the process was before. Before that, we asked contributors to add their package to a wiki page. I surely think that the process of presenting packages to others has been made easier because of REVU.

How important do you think backports are for ubuntu due to its frequent release schedule?

People always want to run latest crack. Often they read in announcements or changelogs about new features which they want to try out. Or there are grave bugs fixed. Or other reasons. I think backports fill a gap: Getting fresh stuff into a released and reliable environment. I'm very sorry that there hasn't been any backport for dapper-backports yet, because launchpad isn't able to do that yet. I read that there is ongoing work on this issue, however.

What problems do you come across when packaging and which package did you find hardest?

Oh there are many individual problems on areas. Currently e.g. there is some confusion about the new python policy and the difference about python-central vs. python-support. But I think this will be worked out in debian. I find the xine package quite challenging, since the package wasn't in that good shape. Since dapper release, I rather try to focus my packaging efforts on packages in debian. This way, both distributions profit from my work.

What did you work on for Dapper?

There were many smaller things. I worked on REVU, I worked in the MOTU UVF team, I worked on game related packages (londonlaw, scorched3d), many merges (merging updated packages in debian with those in ubuntu), I got fai usable on dapper. I also worked in the MOTUMedia team on the mplayer package plus depending libraries.

What are you working on for Edgy?

Currently merges and xine. I need to reduce my work in ubuntu a bit, since I have to write my master thesis this semester. I hope I can return with hacking on REVU2 after that ;)

What feature would you like to see/improve in Ubuntu?

I think XEN in main would be a really challenging task. I'm also looking forward to the NoMoreSourcePackages spec.

Do you contribute to FLOSS in any other ways?

I'm currently on my way to become a Debian Developer.

Which window manager/desktop environment do you use and what do you like about it?

I'm currently using the GNOME Desktop Environment. I like it because it provides a usable user interface for me. Moreover many of ubuntu's powermanagement features are best supported in GNOME.

What programs do you use daily?

irssi, mutt, emacs, vim, galeon

What computers do you have and what are they called?

my laptops are called 'hermes' and 'ares', my workstation is called 'hades'

What do you drink while working on your computer

Water, tea and coffee.

Personal Stuff

Where were you born/grew up?

In Nueremberg/Germany.

Married, partner or up for adoption?


Do you have any children or pets?

Not yet ;)

Where do you recommend anyone visiting your country sees?

The Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas market in Nueremberg).

Favourite place to go on holiday?

Some warm island with a nice beach.

What are you passionate about?

Scuba Diving! :)

What does success mean to you?

It's a great feeling! :)

Favourite food?


What do you do in your spare time?

Dancing, going into sneak previews in cinemas.

This interview is also available in Danish and German